Excel Sports Management announced today its acquisition of the football division of Rep 1 Sports.
The acquisition marks a significant step for Excel, known for its extensive presence in basketball, baseball, golf, and coaching divisions, but previously absent in on-field representation in the NFL.
Excel has previously represented huge football stars, like Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, and Justin Herbert, on the marketing side of the business, but never in NFL player contract negotiations. Via the acquisition, Excel will now represent over 60 NFL clients including Cooper Kupp, Jared Goff, and Dallas Goedert.
While the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the acquisition positions Excel as a major player in the on-field representation of NFL players. With Rep 1’s co-founder and CEO of football, Ryan Tollner, and president of football, Chase Callahan, assuming the roles of co-heads of the new football division at Excel, the agency aims to leverage Rep 1 Football’s established reputation for securing record-breaking contracts and unparalleled results in draft selections.
Excel, headquartered in New York City, has already demonstrated its prowess in athlete representation, managing an estimated $5.75 billion in active contracts and earning commissions of up to $499 million, ranking No. 4 on Forbes’ 2022 list of North America’s most valuable sports agencies. In contrast, Rep 1 ranked at No. 13 on the same list, overseeing $1.67 billion in contracts and maximum commissions of $60 million. The acquisition, which does not include Rep 1’s baseball division, positions Excel to compete more closely with industry giants like CAA, Wasserman, and WME Sports.
Notably, the sports agency landscape has been undergoing significant shifts, with major players seeking to diversify beyond traditional sports domains. Excel’s latest move falls in line with this trend, as industry powerhouses aim to broaden their reach into new sports and geographic regions, while also exploring ventures such as investment offshoots and vertical expansions. We saw this trend play out with Wasserman announcing a new investing vertical called Wasserman Ventures in April, as well as its introduction of a new “creators” vertical in October with the acquisition of J1S.
While the acquisition of Rep 1 Football solidifies Excel’s presence in the NFL, industry dynamics suggest that further transformations may be on the horizon. The recent acquisition spree, including CAA’s purchase of ICM Partners and Wasserman’s acquisition of the U.K.-based CSM Sport & Entertainment, underscores the competitive nature of the industry. The money corroborates this movement of agency giants acquiring the smaller players shown in Forbes’ 2022 agency list –– the top five agencies’ maximum commissions doubled the total for the next 15 agencies in the ranking.
As the industry continues to evolve, Excel’s strategic acquisition of Rep 1 Football emphasizes the agency’s commitment to securing a strong foothold in the fiercely competitive world of sports representation. With the combined expertise and resources of both agencies, Excel is poised to make a powerful impact within the NFL landscape, further solidifying its position as a leading force in the sports representation industry.